Tag: FCC

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's keynote at NAB 2010 - Photo Copyright 2010 K. Malicki-Sanchez

April 13th, 2010, Las Vegas —  Speaking at the National Association of Broadcasters Conference in Las Vegas this morning, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, a bright, young man with a seemingly legitimate sense of humor started by sharing how he has been received a little like the villain around some back alleys of the convention. He went on to describe how journalists are reporting on increasingly diverse platforms, often many at once (the new buzz word for this multi-platform broadcasting is “transmedia ” and it is being used liberally at this year’s show).  But this belies the increase in data, much of it wireless being pushed and pulled from millions of devices throughout North America and especially the US.

“We are in the midst of a transformative digital age” but that in a recent study the US broadband infrastructure was recently ranked 40th out of 40 in its rate and capacity for change in order to accommodate increasing demands for broadband space. He noted that today’s typical Smartphone i/o’s 35% more data than ye olde cell phone. A netbook 450%.

“Our country faces a serious issue, and while its not the time to panic, it is the time to plan – [broadband will become] a significant cost to our economy and global competitivenes. In order to deliver the mobile internet future we need new spectrum efficient technologies and spectrum efficient policies.” He invited the broadcasters to a discussion and search for solutions with a disclaimer that not all broadcasters would be exactly excited about the establishment of FCC regulations over broadband to be regulated much like airwaves have been.

The National Association of Broadcasters released a statement in response to the speech delivered by FCC Chairman Genachowski.

NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton released the following statement:

“We welcome an ongoing dialogue with Chairman Genachowski. His remarks on the National Broadband Plan as related to television spectrum reclamation were reassuring, and we will reach back to work with the chairman.

“We also intend to work with the Chairman and his colleagues on the issue of retransmission consent, which we believe is working just as Congress intended. We’re hopeful that policymakers will allow these free market negotiations to continue on behalf of consumers, and not tilt the scales of power in favor of giant cable operators.”

I left the FCC keynote to catch Ray Kurzweil talking about tech and media acceleration in the 21st Century. He was mostly rehashing what he talks about in his books, but after the talk I did ask him what he thought about this concern among the top brass at NAB 2010 over broadband spectrum.

“The spectrum will be there,” Ray responded, smiling calmly. “But it will not just build itself. Someone will have to innovate and create the right technology.” OK at this point I am really just paraphrasing, because even if this is was Ray said, his understanding of the complexity of broadband spectrum and its effects on global markets is likely way over my my own. “It will be a question of what paradigm wins.”

It will be a question of what countries are ready, because they will have a huge market advantage. But it’s not as if broadband spectrum could be exported. The FCC and NAB are talking looming crisis here because everyone is switching to iPads and Androids and there won’t be enough pipe for all the water wanting to rush through. But I don’t know that having to wait for Hulu to buffer will really equate to a national emergency. Am I naive in thinking that things will simply scale with the demand? I mean, billions are already being invested in updating infrastructure by the same companies that are investing in fresh water reserves – they know where the future “gold veins” lay.

One may wonder – if the fiber cable isn’t laid fast enough, can’t we just add massive wireless hubs and relays and use Wi-Fi and 3G / 4G to get all the bandwidth we need? Even as I ask the question, it becomes obvious that this is expressly the issue: there is limited bandwidth in the spectrum and so wireless relays will not be able to be the quick band-aid we might wish for when the far more fragile and tenuous fiber optic infrastructure can’t keep pace with demand.

Earlier in the day, in response to Derek Sivers’ (founder of CDBaby.com) post I wrote:

“Lordy knows new models must begin to emerge – the existing climate for musicians, as vastly interesting as it may be, as de-centralized as it may be, is actually rather disheartening when it comes to the heavy task of producing an audiophile grade recording. At least the old bottleneck created a filter, the new era of the tastemaker will take some time to develop gravity and in the interim “indie musician” is a hard to thing to still consider a career path. But we persist, don’t we, because the irrepressible urge is there, and so is opportunity and a vast landscape for innovation.”

Dick M. replied:

“Keram – some real contrasts there… I don’t feel like my music has ever been a “career path”… ergo, my music is lumped in the “amateur” category (which is all right with me, because as you indicated, we persist because we MUST). To me, “indie” means it’s NOT a career, because if it IS, it necessitates compromise and time spent in pursuit of $$$… NOT saying there’s anything WRONG with that, just that if it’s for $$$, I don’t believe it’s “independent”.”

To which I countered:

“No dispute that the contrasts are there, Dick. But independent does not have to mean “amateur” or “unmonetizable” or “of no commercial value.” I have made thousands of dollars licensing songs independently to films and TV for over 15 years. The heartache is that when a proper album, that is a sequenced, mastered, carefully thought out collection of works (an album) is made available, there is a dwindling marketplace or even respect for the format. Short of spamming your friends on Facebook or Twitter, the general public has less and less interest in investing in the works of the artist, but rather, flipping, rifling through the latest. I am speaking of the new majority. I should confess that I am saying this as framed by the fact that the “middlemen” continue to find many ways to monetize the musicians’ output – be they the club owners who begrudgingly share the door after the first 50 people, or the repackaging music portals like Lala, last.fm, Amie St or countless others..”

Dick M.
Keram, you’re right “on” here… I haven’t made any significant $$$ with my music, but that’s probably ‘coz the “right” money guy (the one with the coke spoon shoved up both nostrils) hasn’t happened across it. WOULD I “take” $$$ for licensing fees? u BET! Would it compromise my integrity? Not one IOTA.

I think it’s just that when I first hooked up with the Internet (’88, ’89), our “ethic” was that it should cost NOTHING for the player… strange how as the technology has gotten so much better for sharing, it costs so much more just to get connectivity…

I’m 63 now, so I’m not too worried about whether or not I get a “lucky hit” on licensing, downloads or any other aspect of “selling” my music… I just play & record because I (still) CAN!”

Keram
:
“Again, I completely empathize with your urge to make music Dick. I also think that Artistshare is a great idea for creating a central HQ for organizing the effort of promoting.

I am in favor of anything that actually creates a focus – ironic for someone like me who is so interested in perpetuating heterogeneity in the culture, perhaps. But I don’t think they are mutually exclusive.

I loved mp3.com back when it was about print on demand CD for indie artists. Then Universal bought it and killed it quickly. My little brain can’t parse all the numbers, but there is something to learn in that.

As far as the dude with the coke spoon – going the way of the Dodo.  May he rest in pieces.”

Earlier in the day:

DJ AM found dead in NYC apartment
FB response: thing is, death is so fucking final. Believe what you need concerning the beyond; if it brings you solace, peace of mind, then God bless. But the ride is short. Music makes it so much easier. I need more of it in my life and less of the frenetic gossipy nature of the new paradigm. Apologies if this is heavy, but have lost some people, too young, this week. Have lost so many before. Too young. Followed by what. More status updates. Live goddamit. Live.

My favorite Sufi proverb says “Die before ye die, that you shall live” – recognize your mortality and revel in it.

Moreover, music is a mystical, unquantifiable gift. I am tired of posturing behind the coolness of what. It is miraculous. Lend it your energy, because it comes from something beyond what we understand.  And it needs your help.”

p2pnet news » Blog Archive » Dick Cheney new RIAA president
@ConstantChange

Tweet: No. I don’t believe it. I don’t, as a musician or music lover want to be sent to a gulag. I categorically reject the very possibility of this eventuality.

It’s hard to believe, but it is written in an online magazine format so it MUST be true.

For good measure, a moment of solace in the form of a song, video added, from my friend at Monty Python Eric Idle:

Fuck You FCC


This blog will return to reason and matters of the soul and the beauty of culture after these messages.